NORTH ARLINGTON, NJ - Sterling Seating Inc. was cited for safety violations by the U.S Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Sterling Seating was issued 42 health violations and fined $176,330. On Target Staffing was issued 3 fiens for health violations and fined $19,800.
The July 1 action by OSHA against Sterling Seating included 25 repeat, 15 serious and two other-than-serious safety and health citations. On Target Staffing received one repeat and two serious health citations. OSHA initiated an inspection in January after receiving a complaint alleging unsafe working conditions at Sterling's plant. Inspectors observed hazards to temporary workers, resulting in a separate inspection of the staffing company.
Sterling Seating was cited for exposing workers to amputation hazards while operating machinery by not using "lockout/tagout" procedures to prevent inadvertent machine start-up. The furniture mannufacturer was also cited for not training employees about the effects of hazardous chemicals used in the workplace, including methylene chloride, combustible dust and formaldehyde. The company also received citations for electrical, exit hazards, and struck-by hazards from boxes stacked unsafely, and for multiple safety violations related to methylene chloride and fire hazards.
On Target Staffing was cited for not having a written hazard communication program or training, or documentation of a hazard assessment.
This is not the first time Sterling Seating was issued safety violations for its workers. In 2011, OSHA issued 34 health and safety citations related to exposure to combustible dust, issuing a fine of $117,600.
"Sterling Seating has repeatedly violated basic safety and health standards and exposed its employees to needless hazards," said Lisa Levy, area director of OSHA's Hasbrouck Heights Area Office. "Host employers and staffing agencies share a responsibility for worker safety. Those that fail to ensure that safety will be held legally responsible."
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